Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

July 9, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

THE IRANIAN MISSILE LAUNCH....So as of this morning, everyone in the Iran-Israel-United States triangle has (a) demonstrated that they can attack their enemies, (b) blamed the others for starting it, (c) claimed that their own acts have nothing to do with any possible offensive strike, and (d) airily dismissed the possibility of war. It's nice to see that everyone is so dedicated to reducing tensions in the area.

Kevin Drum 11:42 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (40)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

Mutually-Assured Disrespect is a powerful force to be reckoned with, maybe not as effective as Mutually-Assured Destruction. But as long as the hotheads appear on television and not in the war rooms it shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Right?

Posted by: jon on July 9, 2008 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Giving obama a pass on FISA again - the self-proclaimed constitutional "expert" and professor is selling out the 4th ammendment.

Call his campaign and tell them what you think, but they are just as dishonest - the phone staff has promised leadership, said that he would strip immunity, and whatever else was convenient at the time. Now they say he "essentially" supports it and will vote YES.

Call the Obama campaign at 866-675-2008 and press 6 instead to speak to someone.

They have already sold us out, so it may not change anything - he is just another corporate shill.

Calling is important, however, to let him and other democrats-in-name only know that America does not support this administration, does not support dismantling the constitution, and does not accept that obama has lied about FISA and actually stands for no meaningful change at all.

We are tired of "politics as usual", including the bold-face lies of candidates like obama.

Posted by: on July 9, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

That's what deterrence is all about. Though, in the case of Iran, it really isn't missiles - it's the specter of $200 a barrel oil.

Posted by: Independent on July 9, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

"You can take my word for it, there will be no war."
-- W. R. Hearst (1935) and C. F. Kane (1941)

Posted by: penalcolony on July 9, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Iran acted in "defiance" to whom, might I ask? Defiant to Israel? Good. Continue on. And "angers US"? No. Sorry. I'm not angry. Not a bit. Iran has every right to test-fire the missiles considering the dark cloud Israel has built over the nation. And they would have every right to fire them into Israel if attacked. Every right as a sovereign nation. Period. Probably an outside chance, but maybe - just maybe if we're lucky, they'll test-fire one straight up Lieberman's warmonger bung hole.

Posted by: matt on July 9, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

I am no fan of the Iranian government. That said, their current show of chutzba is worth a worried chuckle.

What a statement of "Yo mama" to Bush and Cheney. Iran is the one* state that can most quickly make things here go from bad to really, really worse. Anybody want to see the results of oil hitting $200.00+ a barrel next week?

*Well, actually there are two other states that immediately help things really go to shit and one of them is us.

Posted by: Keith G on July 9, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

If Israel can practice aerial bombing runs on Iran over the Mediterranean Sea, Iran can test missiles in their own country that have the range to target Israel. It would not be a US problem, except the weapons Israel would use to make a Pearl Harbor-like sneak attack against Iran were gifts from the American people. America should ask for our gifts back from Israel to reduce tension in the area, which might also reduce oil prices.


Posted by: Brojo on July 9, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe the price of oil has something to do with all this posturing. The more fear and uncertainty the higher the price of a barrel of Iran's biggest export.

Posted by: Gandalf on July 9, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Jasper, this may be too obvious to be worth pointing out, but your analogy isn't all that good. While the population of Israel is about one-tenth that of Iran, it has a world-class military and about five times more heavy weapons per capita, including nuclear weapons. And the United States as an ally.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on July 9, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

$200 a barrel oil if we attack Iran? Try $600 or $800, and you might be in the ballpark. The Strait of Hormuz isn't exactly as wide as the Pacific Ocean, folks. The price will go up even higher if groups unaffiliated with Iran but against the US, Israel, and the West decide that then is a good time to disrupt Saudi fields and ports, not to mention a few other countries in the region. This has international clusterfuck written all over it, in letters a mile high.

Posted by: jon on July 9, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Our hands are always on the trigger and our missiles are ready for launch..."

The US has thousands of nuclear missiles with hair triggers ready to launch at a moments notice. Israel also has the ability to launch nuclear strikes immediately. The difference between Iran and the US and Israel is that Iran has not used its military resources to acquire territory or natural resources since its revolution. Unlike the US or Israel, Iran's military is defensive.

Posted by: Brojo on July 9, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

That's what deterrence is all about. Though, in the case of Iran, it really isn't missiles - it's the specter of $200 a barrel oil.

... and war with China.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 9, 2008 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Jasper,

who said anything about "first strike" from Iran? besides you?

Israel makes itself vulnerable because they want to be vulnerable. It has just announced some 900 more settlements, presumably taking deeded land from legal owners, yet again.

Regime change in Israel!

Posted by: IntelVet on July 9, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

You know, I'm sick of worrying about a little strip of desert about as big as my back yard. I'm sick of the world catching a cold every time Israel (or one of its gibbering moronic enemies) coughs.

Somebody nuke that shit. Get it over with.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 9, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

jon, point well taken.

Posted by: keith g on July 9, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Israel makes itself vulnerable because they want to be vulnerable. It has just announced some 900 more settlements, presumably taking deeded land from legal owners, yet again.

And that's not all!

Israelis fire crude rockets into West Bank Palestinian villages RAMALLAH, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Israeli settlers Tuesday night fired three crude rockets into Palestinian villages near West Bankcity of Nablus, municipal government official Jamal Muhissen said on Wednesday.

Can we stop pretending that one group of dirty thugs in some pissant part of the world is better than another?

Please?
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 9, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, but that doesn't really make it any less vulnerable to a first strike. It takes proportionally far fewer conventional (let alone nuclear) warheads to do damage to Israel than to do damage to Iran.

Relative size of land mass is irrelevant -- the key factor, which was pointed out to Jasper and he dishonestly elided, is population.

And Jasper also ignored the fact that Israel's nuclear arsenal -- not to mention its alliance with the US -- highly reduces its vulnerability to the "first strike" Japser imagines. As the Soviet Union and US proved, MAD works. There's simply no scenario in which Iran could hope to win a nucelar exchange with Israel.

The fact is, an Iranian nuclear weapon would serve as a deterrent to Israel and the US. Given the recent behavior of both -- embarking in fruitless but deadly wars against non-threatening neighbors, with dire consequence for the local civilian population -- not to mention the nuclear arsenals of both, Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon could well be a rational act. That it would inconvenience Israeli and US hegemony in the region is a given, but that hardly makes Iran an existential threat.

(Jasper also brings up Iranian threats without mentioning threats against Iran by Amercian officials up to and including McCain, dishonest yet again.)

Jasper's case for confronting Iran is based on its being an irrational actor. The burden, though, is on Japser to demonstrate that Iran is in fact an irrational actor -- and no, yammering "Mad Mullahs!" won't do it, nor is mere defiance of US / Israeli will inherently evidence of irrationality.

The American people have been sold one disastrous war based on bogus GOP scare tactics. No sale this time around.

Posted by: Gregory on July 9, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

This is just going to make the price of a barrel go up more. So who do you think is really profitting from this? Do the names Bush and Cheney sound familiar.

Only pesky thing about this is that Hugo C. is prolly grinning from ear to ear right now.

Posted by: optical weenie on July 9, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

¿Qué es mas demente?

Mad mullahs or insane evangelicals?

Posted by: Brojo on July 9, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

If you attack Persia, you will bring down a mighty empire.

Posted by: the oracle at delphi on July 9, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory: "That it would inconvenience Israeli and US hegemony in the region is a given, but that hardly makes Iran an existential threat."

The real problem is that the unspoken assumption underlining US policy seems to be that it is. I think >90% of the public buy into this unfounded assumption. It makes rational discussion impossible -at least in political circles. The problem with such unstated assumptions is that anyone displaying any doubt about any one of them is immediately labeled as some sort of wacko.

So lets look at a (incomplete) list of some of these foolish assumptions driving our policy in dangerous directions:
(1) Iran is insane, and only wants to destroy us and Israel.
(2) Muslims in general are likewise.
(3) Oil is not in scarce supply, and all we need do is blame the liberals...
(4) Cutting taxes for the rich raises revenues.
(5) The market always knows best.
...

Posted by: on July 9, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

One thing I noticed is that no one ever responds to Brojo. Perhaps he's a Moby?

Posted by: FreedomLover on July 9, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Jasper wrote:

I disagree.

You're a dishonest, pants-wetting, warmongering coward of a conservative -- of course you do.

When the size difference is so vastly imbalanced as it is here, land mass DOES make a difference.

Your repetition of your original assertion is most convincing! Oh, wait...no, it isn't.

No, the differences in land mass don't make so much difference. Much of Iran's terrain is "rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts;" not even 10% is arable land. 60% of Iran's population lives in cities -- nice, fat targets for Israeli or american nuclear strikes (retaliatory or otherwise).

Sorry, Jasper, that dog won't hunt.

Furthermore, Israel is surrounded by state enemies... most of whom indoctrinate their populaces with a steady narcotic of anti-Israeli propaganda.

Which, while it does go foar to explain the paranoia and bloodthirstiness of neocons like yourself -- who seek to indoctrinate the US populace with a steady narcotic of pro-Israeli propaganda -- doesn't address whether Iran itself is an existential threat. No sale there, either.

Stipulating that it has a right to exist in the first place, it's already been invaded twice, generally by all of its neighbors at once.

Iran, of course, is not a neighbor of Israel, nor has it invaded Israel. And again, Israel's paranoia, no matter how well-founded, does not inherently make Iran a threat. You're now going from warmongering paranoia to dishonest propaganda.

Israel is not a warmongering, land-grabbing entity

Are you kidding? Israel still occupies land it seized by military force in 1967. And speaking of invading neighbors, need I remind you that Israel was the last to do so, invading Lebanon to the tune of hundreds of civilian casualties?

and Iran would have about as much to fear from Israel as Jordan does

...Israel has, of course, pre-emtively attacked Jordan...

if it weren't financially supporting Hezbollah and Syrian attacks

So, wait -- an entity arming a proxy in the Middle East justifies attacks on that entity? Why are you justifying terrorism against the UInited States?

and threatening to wipe Israel off the map on a weekly basis.

Weekly basis? New to me...in any case, I'll see the demogaugic rantings of the Iranian president -- who does not control the military -- and raise you, again, the threats of Republican officials and John McCain, which you've once again dishoenstly ignored.

And simultaneously claiming that its nuclear weapons program is solely for peaceful purposes.

You have evidence it's to the contrary? I'm sure the US intelligence services would love to see it.

Israel has far more to lose from an "irrational" and provocative Iran than Iran has to lose from an "irrational" and not-really-provocative Israel.

Again, repeating this assertion does not make it more convincing. You have not established -- as I challenged you to do -- that Iran is, in fact, irrational. You're simply lying when you say Israel is not really provocative -- air strikes in Syria, anyone? Bombing civilians in Lebanon?

But in a wider sense, one doesn't have to rely on Iran being an irrational actor to be concerned about their behavior nor to strategize about this.

Shorter Jasper: I can't demonstrate Iran is irrational, but my warmongering is justified anyway!

No, it isn't. Being "concerned" or "strategizing" is one thing; the kind of bellicose talk that neocons like you have been spouting for the past few years -- which, once again, have clearly not worked in terms of advancing American peace interests -- are another.

(Though, I posit that any murder-suicide-based political philosophy where the Greater Benefit is in the afterlife is de jure irrational.

What the hell does this mean? And how does it apply to Iran?

Palestinian death-cults, suicide-bombers who send kids out to blow themselves up in restaurants, etc...)

Again -- what the hell does this mean? And how does it apply to Iran?

The Belmont Club has a good post about Iran in the context of MAD/rationality and the calls for missile defense here:

How funny -- you used "missile defense" and "rationality" in the same sentence!

Bottom line, Jasper, is you've shown clearly that you, for whatever sick reason, join the neocon toads in charge of our foreign policy in clearly desiring military action against Iran. You've utterly failed to establish any irrationality that would exempt a nuclear Iran -- as Pakistan and India so far have done -- from subscribing to MAD and deterrence. (In fact, again, an Iranian nuclear program night well be viewed as a deterrent against Israel!) And you've presented your dishonest justifications in light of your claims of an Iranian threat against Israel.

Conspicuously absent is any mention, however faint, of a threat from Iran against the United States. I, for one, prefer that American foreign policy advance American interests.

Posted by: Gregory on July 9, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

There are exactly two democracies in the middle-east right now: Israel and Iraq.

If anyone had any doubts about Jasper's honesty, this comment would clinch them. Iraq has no legitimate government and is under military occupation; it can hardly be called a "democracy."

Israel is our ally for a number of reasons

Which shouldn't keep us from considering whether, and to what degree, support of Israel is in the national interest.

[Iran is], however, an existential threat to Israel, a US ally.

You have not come close to proving this statement. Simply repeating it only convinces your audience of your dishoensty, nothing more.

It's amazing how Left-wingers bitching about GOP warmongering and tail-dog-wagging turn a blind eye when they start talking about Arab countries' use of Palestine as a political shield domestically

It's amazing how right-wingers who bought into Bush's bullshit reasons for invading Iraq turn a blind eye not only to Israel's continued aggression and occupation of conquered territory but also the degree that our enabling same with military and financial support -- precisely what you claim justifies an offensive posture against Iran -- runs counter to our national interest.

Your scattershot indictment of one side in the Arab-Israeli conflict, of course, does nothing to establish that Iran is a threat to Israel or irrational. The dishonesty of your approach is clearly to be seen. It's equally obvious, you dishonest neocon toad, that you're advocating for one political faction's opinion of Israel's interest -- Israelis themselves hardly speak with one voice on the subject -- but it hardly surpasses the Bush Administration's record of failure to establish that a bellicose posture toward Iran is in the United States' national interest.

Put your copy of Exodus down, Jasper. No one in the middle East wears the white hat. And while you're at it, stop justifying Arab terrorist attacks on the United States.

Posted by: Gregory on July 9, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Iran's limited democracy is equal to the US'. Preventing certain candidates from being entered on the ballots is just as prevalent in the US as it is in Iran. Iran does not have an undemocratic Electoral College, just in case the plebes vote incorrectly.

Americans shift blame for the disastors that their policies create on others, especially Moslems and communists.

After sixty years, Israel has expanded its borders with acquisitive wars, while Iran has not acquired any new territory through military action.

American Christian evangelicals have their fingers on US nuclear arms right now, ready to kill millions of Iranians and Chinese. American Christian evangelicals are waiting for the Red Heifer to tell them when to start the Apocalypse, yet some insist it is the Moslems who are crazy.

The price of oil has quadrupled in the past seven years, yet cosumption nor the cost to extract oil has increased by this multiple.

The small wealth transfers of the New Deal were responsible for the creation of America's huge middle class, not the Washington Consensus.

Posted by: Brojo on July 9, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

It's not so much scarcity/supply as it is world-wide demand though. Specifically, the developing world + China. You can drive all the Priuses you want but it won't change the fact that China's oil-needs are growing by leaps and bounds and that we're not drilling domestically as much as we could at the moment. Adding more refineries here would help, too.

Agreed, it's global demand that's primarily driving prices in the global oil market. What makes you think domestic drilling will put a significant dent in that? Oil drilled here would just be sold to China at market prices.

(4) Cutting taxes for the rich raises revenues. Which they do, and it does.

Bullshit. Prove it. The fact is that cutting tax rates on the rich reduces federal revenues because the growth it stimulates, if any, doesn't make up for the reduction in the tax base. That's one major reason why Reagan ran up such high deficits.

(5) The market always knows best. Are you seriously refuting (5) on a society-wide scale? Even most liberal economists aren't proposing the benefits of command economies any more.

Who said anything about a command economy? When liberals criticize free-market conservatives as believing that "the market always knows best," we are criticizing their inability to recognize a market failure when it's staring them in the face. We're not advocating for a command economy.

Posted by: The Fabulous Mr. Toad on July 9, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Imagine if, say, the Greater Bay Area was surrounded by the US stretching out to Oklahoma nearly all of which not only refused to acknowledge its existence, but issued threats on a monthly basis that an apocalypse was going to rain down on it very soon. And then tested its missiles.

And then imagine that the Greater Bay Area had a substantial fleet of nuclear weapons, deliverable via long-range missile, submarine, and bomber, while the US stretching east to Oklahoma had none, and also that the Greater Bay Area had a more powerful, more experienced, well armed, and well financed military than the US. Suddenly doesn't look so lopsided anymore.

Posted by: Stefan on July 9, 2008 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

(Though, I posit that any murder-suicide-based political philosophy where the Greater Benefit is in the afterlife is de jure irrational.

Why drag Christianity into this....?

Posted by: Stefan on July 9, 2008 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand where the gap in understanding is there.

Perhaps you should learn to read Farsi.

Posted by: Brojo on July 9, 2008 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the price of oil dropped by over $9 per barrel recently, so obviously an excuse is needed to ratchet that price right back up. Somebody had to do something, for God's sake! We wouldn't want those speculators losing money!

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on July 9, 2008 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Iran has kicked out weapons inspectors because it, which gets 80% of its revenue from Oil sales which cost 4x as much as they did a few years ago, wants to develop nuclear technologies for "peaceful purposes".

That makes perfect sense. If oil is so much more valuable, than it makes more sense for Iran to just sell it into the world market rather than burning it for domestic use, and therefore it would need to develop nuclear technology to take the place of that oil that is no longer available for domestic consumption. Isn't John McCain proposing exactly the same thing for the US?

Posted by: Stefan on July 9, 2008 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

And Iraq is FAR more of a democracy than any other Arab state out there.

Far more of a democracy than Lebanon?

And Iraq is still less of a democracy than other Muslim though non-Arab states in the region, such as Turkey and, yes, Iran.

Posted by: Stefan on July 9, 2008 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

"America should ask for our gifts back from Israel to reduce tension in the area, which might also reduce oil prices."
_____________________

You mean you'd like to see Israel disarmed so that your authoritarian, racist friends and their allies could destroy the most democratic country in the area, kill every Jew living there, and extend their despotic rule over the entire region.

After which, you'd say it was all our fault.

Posted by: trashhauler on July 9, 2008 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq's "non-existent" legitimate government

No one said the government of Iraq is non-existent; the contention is that it isn't legitimate. It does not have a monopoly on the use of force; as warmongering conservatives like yourself like to point out, it would likely fall if the US were to withdraw. QED.

Iraq is FAR more of a democracy than any other Arab state out there.

No, it isn't. Hey, argument by assertion is fun!

Seriously, though, I'll just not your moving the goalpost from claiming Iraq as a democracy to "more of a democracy than any other Arab state out there" -- which, of course, would exclude Iran, a non-Arab state, anyway -- as a concession that you were full of bullshit yet again.

Also, immunity to local prosecution (MNF-I troops) does not in and of itself equate to "military occupation".

While that may be true, immunity to local prosecution is far from the only element -- such as, the US can take unilateral military action at whim -- that makes the US an occupying force and the claims of Iraqi "sovereignty" a myth.

Any fair and impartial reading of the situation on the ground there would argue against that claim.

Unfortunately, we only have you making that argument.

Iran threatens that Israel's days are numbered.

Again, you're conflating bellicose rhetoric from a demagogue who has no control of the military with Iranian national policy, while ignoring equal if not greater saber-rattling from officials of the US government, including one party's candidate for President.

And even if Iran makes threats, so what? No one is claiming Iran is Miss Congeniality. It's capability to carry them out that makes one a threat. Your repetition of this point despite its falsity being pointed out to you reveals you as wilfully dishonest.

Iran funds entities who refuse to acknowledge Israel's right to exist and hijack local state governments to wage low-scale war on it.

I've already addressed this claim, so I'll simply point out that Likudnik policies have done fuck-all to make Iran stop.

Iran has kicked out weapons inspectors because it, which gets 80% of its revenue from Oil sales which cost 4x as much as they did a few years ago, wants to develop nuclear technologies for "peaceful purposes".

Nice scare quotes -- again, if you have evidence to the contrary, do supply it to US Intelligence posthaste. Neocons like you have already dragged the US into one disastrous war with your ominous implications; that dog won't hunt this time.

Iran tests missiles that can be used to hit Israel.

So? There's no evidence Iran has a nuke to put on the missile, nor that the missile is for anything other than deterrence purposes -- which, again, would be a perfectly rational response to Israeli / US policy. Again, your paranoia isn't proof of causus belli.

Iran claims that Israel is the source of its problems and should not and soon WILL not exist.

Again, you're conflating one political figure's statements with national policy. You're also citing the opinion that Israel should not exist as significant, somehow. And again, you're conflating empty rhetoric with the capability to carry it out.

I don't understand where the gap in understanding is there.

There's no gap -- I fully understand your dishonest, coawardly fearmongering, and also that you haven't done jack to establish Iran as an actual threat -- as opposed to regional rival -- to Israel, let alone the US, let alone established a sufficient threat to justify military action.

First of all, you forgot Congress.

No, I didn't, nor did I forget Poland. Congress' cowardly complicity, for example, rightly cost Hillary Clinton her party's nomination.

This was not "Bush's War" despite what Newsweek covers and MM tell you.

It's astonishing you're pushing the "liberal media" angle. Of course it's Bush's War -- he pushed for it, he lied for it, and he claims to this day he'd do it again.

Secondly, this is a political question, not a National Interest.

While you're certainly advancing the political position of a narrow segment of Israeli politics, of course matters of national security -- including an ally making an ill-advised attack -- go to the national interest. Don't be an ass. (Oop, too late.)

Our National Interest is whatever We've decided it is.

Yes, and we'll need more than your fearmongering, bloodthirsty bullshit -- better evidence than you've presented -- for us to decide to subordinate the US national interest to attack a sovereign nation to advance Israel's regional hegemony.

If we decide to be allies with Israel, then that constitute our National Interest.

No, that doesn't follow -- alliances can turn out to be against the national interest. See the example of the First World War. Also, allies can act against an ally's national interest.

You don't like it? Argue otherwise and work to elect politicians that think we should cut ties with Israel. (Good luck with that, btw.)

You've cited, and I agree with, the influence if the pro-Likundnik lobby in the United States. But I see the influence of neocons like you as waning as the disasters of their stupid, criminal policies are evident.

Newsflash! Man on Internet argues for his point of view in blog comment. Film at 11! heh.

Shorter Jasper: you got me there. I have no cogent retort.

I notice, also, you elide the point that your point of view coincides with that of the neocons whose jackassery has cost so many lives.

Yes, I agree that it is in Israel's interest to take a harder line on the threats to it.

Ah, so you admit it, then. Thanks. But again, you keep using the word "threat" without demonstrating you knwo what it means.

I also feel that it's in our National Interest to support our ally in doing so.

And your evidence for that would be....?

IMHO Israel and its population is far more sane that vast swaths of its adversaries and their populations. Big whoop.

Yes, you've expressed that opinion, while doing fuck-all to establish that Iran is any less sane. Since only an irrational actor would not be contrained by MAD and deterrence, simply repeatingthis opinion, without evidence, fails to support your desire for preemptive military action.

Book? Bible book? Not sure what you're talking about there.

Leon Uris's propaganda book Exodus, you illiterate jape.

I agree no one is not-to-blame in the situation

Now there's a stirring condemnation!

but that's a FAR cry from the equalization of moral relativism that so many on the left do

You dishonestly imply that Israel is morally superior. The blood of Lebanese civilians, and the oppressive occupation of Palestine, demonstrate that it is not.

or, even worse, the espousation of anti-Western values.

You're the one espousing unprovoked military action, using dishonest, fear-mongering propaganda, seeking to trick the American people into acting against their interest on behalf of an ally's. Those don't sound like Western values to me, whatever delusions you hold about the "Left."

And "justifying Arab terrorist attacks on the US"? wtf?

Quite simple, Jasper -- in your eagerness to get your war on with Iran, you cite -- without evidence, naturally -- as a causus belli that Iran arms and funds proxies. That's precisely the excuse -- that the US arms and funds Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands -- that terrorists use to attack the US as well as Israel. Of course it's a bullshit excuse;l you'd have to be stupid and / or terminally dishoenst and / or unthinkingly bloodthirsty to use it. And yet here you are...

Jackass.

Posted by: Gregory on July 9, 2008 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

If President Obama achieves all this, he will have matched President Bush's achievement in Iraq.

Ah, it's refreshing to see "ex-liberal" abandon his feeble pretense as an honest commentator.

Iraq has no legitimate government, far from being a democracy. It is occupied by the United States and so hardly counts as an ally. It is, of course, a heaven for terrorists that it never was before, had no nuclear plans outside of Saddam's imagination and had its own nuclear material previously secured -- up to the invasion -- by the IAEA.

Bush's invasion "acheived" none of "ex-liberal"'s claims, and at a staggering cost of blood, treasure and American prestige and security. But it did, coincidentally, remove a rival to Israel's regional hegemony.

Trashy, meanwhile, swings in with another unfounded attack on the members of this forum. Cite just one post -- just one -- that supports what you said, Trashy, you stinking liar.

Posted by: Gregory on July 9, 2008 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Compare and contrast?

----------------------------------------
Saudis consider nuclear bomb (2003)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/sep/18/nuclear.saudiarabia

Saudi Arabia, in response to the current upheaval in the Middle East, has embarked on a strategic review that includes acquiring nuclear weapons, the Guardian has learned.


United States Supports Saudi Arabian Civil Nuclear Program (2008)

http://www.america.gov/st/peacesec-english/2008/May/20080516160353idybeekcm0.3394586.html

President Bush met with Saudi King Abdullah to celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations and announce a new agreement pledging U.S. support for Saudi Arabia as it builds a civil nuclear energy program that benefits its people, observes international nonproliferation standards and prevents the spread of nuclear weapons.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on July 9, 2008 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

If Israel's 1948 UN mandated borders should be physically threatened, by anyone, then the US should help to protect them. But not one more inch of territory should be considered Israeli, so the US should protect that territory from Israeli aggression. I propose suspending all US military and economic aid to Israel until Israel has withdrawn to its legal borders.

Sen. Clinton said she would annihilate Iran if it should attack Israel with nuclear arms, if she was president. She did not say that she would annihilate Israel if it attacked Iran with nuclear arms. Clinton's logic was inconsistent. If Iran attacking Israel is wrong, then Israel attacking Iran is wrong. Logic is difficult for authoritarian, racist militants to understand.

Posted by: Brojo on July 9, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

The Iranian Missile Launch.

This is not a big deal.

Posted by: James on July 9, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

What is a Moby?

Posted by: Brojo on July 9, 2008 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Sen. Clinton said she would annihilate Iran if it should attack Israel with nuclear arms, if she was president. She did not say that she would annihilate Israel if it attacked Iran with nuclear arms. Clinton's logic was inconsistent. If Iran attacking Israel is wrong, then Israel attacking Iran is wrong.

Posted by: Brojo on July 9, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, dramatic little Brojo, your logic is faulty. You can't just automatically assume things work in both directions. For example, you are a stupid fuck, but not all stupid fucks are you. See? One direction only.

Posted by: Pat on July 10, 2008 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK
Post a comment









Remember personal info?










 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly